With reports of possibly some positive cases of COVID-19 on a campus, Walton County Public Schools spokesperson Callen Moore said that officials will give a weekly update of the number of active positive cases at noon on Thursdays.
WCPS students returned to school for the 2020/2021 school year on Aug. 4 and on Aug. 7, Walnut Grove High School administrators were notified that three students with known exposures outside of school had tested positive for COVID-19.
“Based on current information, these appear to be isolated, unrelated events. The COVID-19-positive individuals have not been on campus since (being at school) on Tuesday, Aug. 4,” Moore said at the time. “In accordance with the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Administrative Order, WCSD has followed proper guidelines to identify and isolate individuals in close contact. Those individuals have already been notified by the school and will be required to complete a 14 day quarantine period at home before returning to school. It is not recommended that any other students or staff members be tested or quarantined at this time.”
Moore declined to comment on reports of other local schools that may have had some individuals test positive for the virus.
“Following DOE (Department of Education) reporting procedures, we are unable to report on individual schools when the number is less than 10,” she said, adding that they will report on the number of positive active cases system-wide every Thursday. “If there are more than 10 positive cases at any one school, we will name the school, but if there are less than 10 in a school, in keeping with DOE guidelines we won’t name the particular school.”
Moore said that if there are only a few individuals, naming the school will enable people to identify the particular individuals who have tested positive and that violates their right to privacy. At this time, there are less than 10 people system-wide with an active positive result for a COVID-19 test. She said they have been following contact tracing procedures and individuals who need to be notified, isolated and quarantined have already been notified. Schools at WCPS have been back for a week with about 24 % choosing distance learning and the remaining 76 % choosing to attend classes in person.
“As we work to navigate this school year and our response to COVID-19, the Walton County School District remains committed to providing safe learning environments for students and staff. We will continue to work in partnership with local health officials to monitor the situation,” Moore said.